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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-04-12, 09:44 AM   #1
ryanhulce
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First Ride on the new Bikes Direct 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

Well my bike arrived in seven business days, in two boxes, some assembly required. I was worried about how the Bikes Direct purchase would go, but it was as smooth as any online ordering I have done in the past. I would now recommend Bikes Direct if your LBS is unable to supply you with the bike you need. I tried to get a Trek Belleville, but Trek has none in stock and they might not be making them in 56cm again this year. I wanted a Steel Frame, Internal Hub, Racks, Fenders, and a classic look. I feel the fit these requirements the best.

I had my LBS put the bike together, and I believe they were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the bike itself.

The bike is really nice. Steel frame is nice to look at, and I found no paint issues at all. The fenders are steel, and so are the racks. The rear rack is fairly heavy duty at three pounds.

My first ride was 15 miles on the Nickel Plate trail with fellow bikeforums member yep20. It was fairly windy out, and I could feel the wind with the panniers a little bit. It was very stable, quiet, and smooth. The shifting is amazing! The eight speed nexus hub is simply brilliant.

While getting up to speed you can feel the weight, it certainly does not accelerate like my Cervelo, and that was to be expected. Once at speed it is silky smooth and easy to keep going. I was impressed that the factory grips and seat are actually not bad. I was going to get a Brooks, but after being on the bike for an hour or so it really did not feel bad. The bike soaks up the surface.

I bought Sunlite Traveler 1 Pannier and a Sunlite Trunk. The Panniers have the room I need and should be protected from the rain, although I will be a fair weather rider.

I have some shimano pedals on order. They are normal platform on one side, and I can clip in on the other side. That way I can ride with or without cycling shoes. I need to figure out my lighting before I start my commute, so I open for suggestions. They will need to be able to operate a few hours a day, as my commute is 17-20 miles one way and my budget is $120.00.

Well here are some pictures from my cell phone. I will be taking some better pictures this weekend with my digital camera.

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Old 05-04-12, 09:56 AM   #2
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Great looking bike. I am impressed by your commute length and how you don't seem to feel the need to "get low". Can I ask what your cruising speed is on your commute and how long it takes you? My commute is 13-16 miles and I tend to "race" it but want to make a mental shift to just enjoying the ride more.
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Old 05-04-12, 10:04 AM   #3
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Great looking bike. I am impressed by your commute length and how you don't seem to feel the need to "get low". Can I ask what your cruising speed is on your commute and how long it takes you? My commute is 13-16 miles and I tend to "race" it but want to make a mental shift to just enjoying the ride more.
I do not know yet. I will be attempting my first commute next week. I am going to do a trial run this weekend hopefully. It is very flat so that is nice. I am not going to race on my commute and think I can hold 12-16mph depending on wind. The rides into the wind will be the rough part. But what does not kill you only makes you stronger, right?

Ryan
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Old 05-04-12, 10:08 AM   #4
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What a great bike. I'd much rather have it than a Trek.

That's a long commute.

I, myself, would flip those handlebars.
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Old 05-04-12, 10:23 AM   #5
ryanhulce
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What a great bike. I'd much rather have it than a Trek.

That's a long commute.

I, myself, would flip those handlebars.
Must say, the 15 miles yesterday felt great on the arms. I do not anticipate that being an issue, but time will tell.
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Old 05-04-12, 11:07 AM   #6
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Nice! I basically have the same bike, which I ordered last year, minus the 8 speed hub (mine is the 3 speed) and the front rack. The only thing I've done is replace the handlebars. I agree with everything you said. I was happy with the service, I'm more than pleased with the quality of the bike, and so was my LBS. At the time, it was between this one and a Linus offered by the LBS, and I thought this one was a bit nicer.
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Old 05-04-12, 11:08 AM   #7
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I Have a Windsor Tourist and was glad to see you had your LBS put the bike together. I had suggested to people to ask about doing that who were worried about doing the assembly themselves. My shop has never had any issues about working on mine.

If I could ask what did they charge to do the work and what all tuning did they say it needed?

Pretty bike Looks fun to ride.
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Old 05-04-12, 06:58 PM   #8
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I also have the 3 speed version of this bike, the Windsor Oxford. I changed out the bars, though the original bars were not too bad. I also like the saddle and grips that came on the bike. This bike has a good geometry for commuting. I've put exactly 899.20 miles on my Windsor Oxford 3 speed since it arrived on February 9 (mostly commuting miles).
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Old 05-04-12, 08:05 PM   #9
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Nice bike.
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Old 05-04-12, 08:24 PM   #10
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Looks similar to the frame that my Moto had, if it is the same frame, it will be fine for a low powered rider and the flats/minor hills, but will turn into a wet noodle when the prod is put to it.
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Old 05-04-12, 10:15 PM   #11
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The panniers look like a great choice. Are you going to do any touring with it or are those just for your commute? Not a bad looking bike at all.
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Old 05-04-12, 10:27 PM   #12
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I always thought it would be awkward to ask a LBS to put together a bike for me that I bought online. But, the worst is that they say no, I suppose.
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Old 05-06-12, 01:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I Have a Windsor Tourist and was glad to see you had your LBS put the bike together. I had suggested to people to ask about doing that who were worried about doing the assembly themselves. My shop has never had any issues about working on mine.

If I could ask what did they charge to do the work and what all tuning did they say it needed?

Pretty bike Looks fun to ride.
They charged me $40 to put it together. It required no real tuning. They just double checked everything, like wheel tuning, etc.

The bike seems to be really built well.

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The panniers look like a great choice. Are you going to do any touring with it or are those just for your commute? Not a bad looking bike at all.
Mostly commuting, but I may try some long rides with it as well.

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I always thought it would be awkward to ask a LBS to put together a bike for me that I bought online. But, the worst is that they say no, I suppose.
They knew I wanted to buy a bike from them, but they could not get the bike I originally wanted. I try to support my LBS when I can, and they were happy to do the work on this bike. I guess these days work is work.

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Looks similar to the frame that my Moto had, if it is the same frame, it will be fine for a low powered rider and the flats/minor hills, but will turn into a wet noodle when the prod is put to it.
Yes, I noticed when I put the power down it was a noodle but I expected that from this bike. The tradeoff is that it sucks the bumps in the road up amazingly.

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Nice bike.
Thank You!

Quote:
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I also have the 3 speed version of this bike, the Windsor Oxford. I changed out the bars, though the original bars were not too bad. I also like the saddle and grips that came on the bike. This bike has a good geometry for commuting. I've put exactly 899.20 miles on my Windsor Oxford 3 speed since it arrived on February 9 (mostly commuting miles).
It is good to hear you have put some good miles on your bike and had success with it. After riding this bike with the 8 Speed Internal Hub and the way it shifts, it is hard to go back to my Cervelo with Ultegra because of how smooth this Nexus is. I mean it does not even make a noise. You hear the click from twisting the gear selector and boom instantly in the new gear.

Ryan

Last edited by ryanhulce; 05-06-12 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 05-07-12, 03:05 AM   #14
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Mea culpa! The $450 bike vs the $3k bike and which one wins?! When I picked up my bike I noticed the store had a price on the board for bike assembly. I wonder how much an LBS makes on the sale of a $450 bike. They have to assemble the thing and pay for floor space. Once they put your bike together, you are likely to return for additional service.
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Old 05-07-12, 08:32 AM   #15
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Mea culpa! The $450 bike vs the $3k bike and which one wins?! When I picked up my bike I noticed the store had a price on the board for bike assembly. I wonder how much an LBS makes on the sale of a $450 bike. They have to assemble the thing and pay for floor space. Once they put your bike together, you are likely to return for additional service.
Well in smoothness of shifting yes. My Cervelo is smooth, but not internal hub smooth. This thing does not even make a hint of a sound. All you hear is the click from the selector on the handlebar and boom you are in gear!

Now if I want to go ride with the group or a training ride the Cervelo is still the machine of choice.

Ryan
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Old 05-07-12, 11:28 AM   #16
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Nice bike! I was checking out that bike and Motebecane Express 8 before I found my Kona Dr. Fine for over half off. I just got my wife the Motobecane Jubilee with the Nexus 8 speed from Bikes Direct. I am so impressed with the bike being just as smooth and quiet as the Alfine 8 on my Dr. Fine.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:45 PM   #17
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Nice bike! I was checking out that bike and Motebecane Express 8 before I found my Kona Dr. Fine for over half off. I just got my wife the Motobecane Jubilee with the Nexus 8 speed from Bikes Direct. I am so impressed with the bike being just as smooth and quiet as the Alfine 8 on my Dr. Fine.
Thanks, took it out again tonight and I just love that Nexus.
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Old 05-09-12, 07:37 PM   #18
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Got my headlight installed, new morph g pump in the trunk, and my new planet bike wireless speedo with temp. Just need pedals and I am ready to start the commute!
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Old 05-09-12, 09:00 PM   #19
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Got my headlight installed, new morph g pump in the trunk, and my new planet bike wireless speedo with temp. Just need pedals and I am ready to start the commute!
What kind of pedals to you plan to use?
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Old 05-10-12, 06:26 AM   #20
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Shimano PD-M324 Clipless/Clip Pedals

http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M32...8&sr=8-3-fkmr0

This way I can clip in on some rides yet run around town in normal shoes if necessary.

Ryan
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Old 05-10-12, 09:27 PM   #21
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Thats a great looking and functional bike. I am glad to see a report on one I noticed they had them for sale a couple weeks ago.
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Old 04-28-14, 07:40 AM   #22
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Very late to this party, but if you see this; how are you liking the Windsor now that you've had it for a while. I'm considering one, and this is the only time I've seen it discussed. Thanks!
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Old 04-28-14, 07:43 AM   #23
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don't forget to have your spokes rechecked after the 1st 100 miles. that's what I've read anyway about new bikes. have the spokes tensioned out of the box and again after the 1st 100 miles.
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Old 04-28-14, 05:07 PM   #24
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don't forget to have your spokes rechecked after the 1st 100 miles. that's what I've read anyway about new bikes. have the spokes tensioned out of the box and again after the 1st 100 miles.
Look at that date, either he has the bugs worked out or it is hanging in a garage somewhere.

To comment on the previous post, I too would like to see a long term report. It would be good to hear how a relatively cheap bike has held up. We don't see many long term reports on bikes that are still offered for sale; most manufacturers (in BD's case, vendors) change models to quickly for those reports to be useful.

This model seems to have some real longivity in the lineup. I am thinking of one for riding to the bus stop in the mornings in Salt lake.
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Old 04-29-14, 09:51 PM   #25
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don't forget to have your spokes rechecked after the 1st 100 miles. that's what I've read anyway about new bikes. have the spokes tensioned out of the box and again after the 1st 100 miles.
I have the 3 speed Windor and did not follow up on the spokes. I broke four spokes on the rear wheel and decided to have it rebuilt with quality spokes and nipples. It's now solid as a rock and couldn't be happier.

If I was going to commute on this bike, (did it briefly after hurricane Sandy) I'd put on a Tuffy tire liner on the rear wheel because they have no pucture protection. However, the Tuffy really protects the tires from glass. I agree with the OP that the saddle is ok which surprised me. This has become my favorite bike.
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